Fruit Compound In Red Wine ‘Blocks Fat Cell Formation' (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 5/04/2012 13:38 Updated: 5/04/2012 16:28

Scientists have already proved that a glass of red wine can be good for the heart but now they’ve found another benefit that could keep you healthy – and slim.

According to researchers from the Purdue University, a compound found in red wine called resveratrol converts into another compound called piceatannol, which blocks fat cells from forming.

Kee-Hong Kim, who led the study, says the piceatannol compound is a vital discovery as its ability to block immature fat cells from growing could pave the way for future treatments for obesity.

Piceatannol is made of a similar structure to resveratrol and is found is red wine, as well as foods like peanuts and red grapes. The compound has already been credited for its cancer-fighting properties and ability to help combat heart and neurodegenerative diseases.

The study investigated the health benefits of several compounds and discovered that picceatannol has the ability to bind insulin receptors of fat cells during their first stages of development. They then block the insulin’s pathway, stopping the fat cells from maturing.

"Piceatannol actually alters the timing of gene expressions, gene functions and insulin action during adipogenesis, the process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells," Kim said. "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis,” explains Kim.

"These precursor cells, even though they have not accumulated lipids, have the potential to become fat cells," Kim said. "We consider that adipogenesis is an important molecular target to delay or prevent fat cell accumulation and, hopefully, body fat mass gain."

Researchers are hoping to use this information and develop treatment that helps tackle obesity in humans.

“We need to work on improving the stability and solubility of piceatannol to create a biological effect.”

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  • Red Wine: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

  • May Protect Against Breast Cancer

    In a study at the University of Calabria, Italy, the resveratrol compound was also found to <a href="" target="_hplink">block the cancer-fuelling effects of the female hormone oestrogen</a>, as well as inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells that have become hormone resistant.

  • A Glass A Day Could Increase Breast Cancer Risk

    In a conflicting study at Harvard University it was found that <a href="" target="_hplink">women who drink just four small glasses of wine a week increase their risk of developing breast cancer by 15%</a>, while those who drank up to four units a day were 50% more likely to develop breast cancer.

  • A <a href="" target="_hplink">recent study by Spanish researchers</a> found that the alcohol in red wine and the grapes themselves may both be beneficial for the heart. <a href="" target="_hplink">The study analysed the levels of chemicals affecting inflammation and plaque on artery walls of 67 men after they drank red wine, red wine without alcohol, and gin</a>. When the man drank the alcoholic red wine and gin, levels of chemicals that reduce inflammation increased, and when the men drank the non-alcoholic red wine, levels of chemicals that reduce plaque increased.

  • No Proof A Glass A Day Is Good For The Heart

    A study by the Centre For Addiction And Mental Health, found that while there is a positive link between alcohol use and ischaemic heart disease, <a href="" target="_hplink">it cannot be assumed for all drinkers, even for those who have a limited intake</a>. Dr Juergen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH, said: "It's complicated. "We see substantial variation across studies, in particular for an average consumption of one to two drinks a day."

  • May Help Prevent Gum Disease

    Research at Quebec's Universite Laval in Canada, found that <a href="" target="_hplink">chemicals found in red wine called polyphenols can block production of free radical molecules, which can damage gum tissue</a>, it was reported by the BBC. However, dentists warn there are other risks associated with drinking wine, and people should not think it was good for their teeth.

  • May Lower Risk Of Dementia

    A study at the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen found that <a href="" target="_hplink">people who drink wine weekly or monthly are two times less likely to develop dementia</a>. However, study author, Thomas Truelsen, MD, PhD, emphasised that "These results don't mean that people should start drinking wine or drink more wine than they usually do."

  • Helps To Fend Off Colds

    A year-long Spanish study or 4,000 volunteers found that <a href="" target="_hplink">drinking wine - especially red - can prevent people developing colds</a>. Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University said the results may be due to the antioxidant properties of red wine.

  • May Ward Off Lung Cancer

    Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compestela in Spain found that drinking red wine may help to ward off lung cancer. They found <a href="" target="_hplink">each glass a day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13% compared to non-drinkers</a>. But Cancer Research UK case doubt on the findings, warning excess drinking increases the risk of other cancers, it was reported by the BBC.